Saturday, April 22, 2017

Smoky Mountain Wildflowers in April

fiddleheads

rue anemone


trillium


geranium

trillium

foam flower

trillium

trillium

phacelia 

trillium

frasers sedge grass

maidenhair fern

bishops cap

crested dwarf iris

water lettuce

showy orchis

leucothoe

violet

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March Newsletter

Weed Management in Lawns

COMBINING RESULTS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL CARE

Balancing the goal of a beautiful, thick lawn with that of taking responsible care of our environment has become an essential part of professional care. When it comes to weed management, there are effective ways to greatly reduce herbicide use, while delivering very satisfactory results.

MANAGEMENT CONCEPT REPLACING TOTAL ERADICATION

Some change in weed control expectations is necessary to an environmentally sound management program. The most effective way to maintain results, while reducing weed control applications, is to inspect and treat when and where weeds are actually a problem in the lawn.
Because weeds can sprout almost all season long, there may be a few weeds present in a lawn at any given time. The goal is to manage weeds and prevent them from becoming a serious problem – not to guarantee there will never be a weed present in the lawn. The need to accept the presence of a few weeds in an otherwise very attractive lawn is basic to the weed management approach.

HERBICIDES: ONLY AS SUPPORT FOR GOOD FEEDING AND CULTURAL PRACTICES

When your lawn is properly fed, watered, mowed and aerated, weed control materials become less and less necessary. Spot treatments for weeds are much better for your lawn and the environment. We’re dedicated to working with you to keep your world green and healthy.

Dealing with Deer

Deer are beautiful creatures. A family of deer prancing across your yard is an event worthy of gathering the kids for an encounter with nature. While there may be a sense of wonder attached to the fact that such large animals live so close to humans – this situation does not bode well for your landscaping. A century of suburbanization has rid deer of most natural predators causing their populations to soar. Suburbanization has also provided deer with a convenient food source – pretty much anything you are trying to grow in your yard!
Limiting plant loss from deer is a challenging proposition. Once upon a time, bags of human hair hung from trees drove them off. This was in a bygone era when deer feared humans. These days, fragrant soaps hung in mesh bags can help ward off the deer. Commercial repellants also exist, but be sure to research which one is best for you. Some repellants can damage food plants, and most will need to be re-applied after heavy watering or heavy rain.
Some plants such as black-eyed Susans, daffodils, and lavender are unattractive to deer and can be planted throughout your yard. Unfortunately, the most effective way to secure your plants against deer damage is a physical boundary of some kind. Netting or chicken wire around (and on top of) your garden plants will often do the trick. Fences around your yard will also help (although deer are VERY good jumpers). These barriers may be unsightly, but often they are the only solution to a serious deer problem. The best way to gauge your situation is to try several solutions to see what will work. Not all deer are repelled by the same things, and some populations are more tame than others. Trial and error is your best bet in keeping your plants from becoming a deer buffet.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Late Winter Newsletter

Dealing with Winter Lawn Damage

A long, cold winter can do a number on your lawn. While a thick blanket of snow can actually protect your lawn, the ice that results from repeated thawing and refreezing can be quite harmful. In addition to ice, snow mold – a fungus that thrives in cold, wet conditions – can harm or kill entire sections of turf. Even the salt that ma kes roads drivable in the winter can dry out and damage grass that is close to the street.
Once winter lets up, it is time to assess the damage. Start by lightly raking brown areas of your lawn. Dormant turf, with its roots intact, will stay firmly attached to the ground. Dead, dying, or diseased grass will be easily pulled up. Once troubled turf is removed, it will be clear which areas need the most attention.
Proper fertilization can help rejuvenate damaged turf. Some areas may also need full or partial reseeding depending on the extent of the damage. If you have questions regarding what can and should be done to address a damaging winter, feel free to contact us, we'll be happy to assess your lawn care needs!

Why Mulch?

Freshly laid mulch is just as much a part of spring as warm sun and budding flowers. It is easy to take the mulching process as a given without giving much thought to the reasons why we do it.
To begin with, mulched beds simply look nice. Mulch gives your landscaping a clean look that highlights your plants and flowers. Mulch spread across a plant bed gives the area a uniform look and makes the flowers in it 'pop' with intense color when contrasted against the backdrop of a layer of dark mulch. But the visual benefit of mulch is just one reason to make it part of your annual routine.
Trees, shrubs and flowers are not the only plants that want to grow in your beds. Quality soil, sunlight, and water are incredibly attractive to weeds who would love to crowd out your flowers and landscaping. By eliminating exposed soil, mulch makes it hard for unwanted weed seeds to take root. The seeds that do make it to the soil are blocked off from air and water, making any growth very difficult.
The heat and drought of summer can be a real struggle for your landscaping. Mulch blocks the intense sun, cooling the soil and making it more hospitable for your plants. When watering, mulch soaks up water and will hold it, allowing it to be absorbed into the soil as opposed to drying up or being lost as runoff. Of course, to get all of these benefits, proper application is important. The total mulch depth should be no more than 4”, and mulch should not be piled up against trunks and stems. This subjects stems to constantly moist conditions, which can encourage disease development.
There’s no time like the present for a mulch application. Your plants will thank you for it!